Of Positivism and the History of Economic Thought
The rhetoric of positivism had a profound effect on the worldview and practice of economists in the middle of the last century. Though this influence has greatly diminished, it still may be found in the attitude of many economists towards the history of their discipline. This paper traces the effects of positivism in economics, then argues that the history of economics is a critical component of both the undergraduate teaching and the graduate training of economists, and that as such, it should be reintroduced into the economics curriculum. It concludes by documenting some recent hopeful signs of change.
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